Neko Case

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti-)

SXSW Records

Neko Case

Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Anti-)

Neko Case's fourth studio album makes one thing unmistakable: 2002's Blacklisted wasn't a swerve from Furnace Room Lullaby on the path to somewhere else. It was a full-on turn, signal and all. To put it in rock analogy parlance: If Blacklisted was her Kid A, this is her Amnesiac. Put together with the help of Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino, as well as the Band's Garth Hudson, Fox Confessor inches closer to putting Case in the company of acts who aren't afraid to carve out her own genre-confounding niches. What this New Pornographer has on almost all of them is a voice angels would kill for. It's in full range from the glass-cracking belt of "Maybe Sparrow" to the powerful whisper of "baby" in "The Needle Has Landed." Musically, there's less verse-chorus-verse, less rhyme, less melody. In fact "Needle" and maybe "Hold On, Hold On" might be the only things adhering to a pop song structure – the latter especially for anyone wanting to keep Case as the heir to Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn – but the result is more of Case herself. For someone whose voice seems steeped in history, queen Neko Case seems quite comfortable moving away from it. (Friday, March 17, 1am @ Antone's)

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